With the rapid advancement of digitalization widening the skills gap, traditional screening methods like resume evaluation are no longer reliable. Thus, skills assessment tests have become the most reliable way to assess candidates.
Major sectors such as Tech & IT, need reliable assessment methods to cut through the noise and acquire the best talent. Skill assessments allow employers to vet candidates for real skills that the workplace demands, translating to more quality hires.
Skills assessment tests are the future of hiring – and in this guide, we’re going to explore why.
What is a skill assessment test?
Skill assessment tests help recruiters and hiring managers to evaluate the skills of job applicants and employees. They are most commonly used to vet new applicants. Skill assessment tests help employers narrow down the list of candidates and shortlist top performers for an interview.
Pre-employment tests also help recruiters make informed hiring decisions in their organization’s best interests. This assessment method guarantees that the candidates you select are qualified and equipped with the right skills.
Why resume screening alone doesn’t cut it anymore 🚫
Lying on job applications and resumes is more common than you might think. In fact, HireRight’s 2017 employment screening benchmark report revealed that as much as 85% of employers caught applicants lying on their resumes or applications in some form. This statistic is quite alarming, as it reveals stand-alone resume screening to be an unreliable evaluation method.
A thorough candidate assessment requires resume reviews, job interviews, reference checks, job simulation exercises, and skill assessment tests during the hiring process. Resume screening alone doesn’t cut it anymore and it’s best to consider additional evaluation methods.
In fact, Harvard Business Review vouched for the effectiveness of candidate assessment tests, citing them as better determinants of future performance than simple resume evaluations.
The World Economic Forum Reports of 2020 suggest that high demand for technology-related skill jobs will continue for years to come. This makes tech skill assessment tests all the more valuable – as tech positions open up, they need to be filled by qualified talent.
Technical assessment platforms are thus instrumental in acquiring top talent and driving the best hiring decisions.
Benefits of using a skill assessment test
Okay, so we’ve made a strong case for skills assessment tests being a reliable option for screening. But what else do they bring to the table?
✓ Accurate screening
Well, alongside reliability, skills tests also offer greater accuracy. Employers can tailor skill assessment tests to evaluate candidates for specific job roles. These skill tests are not general – instead, they filter the candidates for particular skills that the position demands.
For example, a programming test for a software development position tests candidates for not just coding skills but for problem-solving abilities, algorithms, data structures, and more. Recruiters can then promote qualified candidates with the highest scores to the next round, easing the transition along the recruitment funnel.
✓ Fair evaluation
Another reason skill assessment tests are so popular is that they’re fair and consistent. The tests employ one particular scoring criteria and test type to judge all the applicants for a given role. Thanks to assessment tests, recruiters have a quantifiable measure of the applicants’ abilities and skills, making it easier to compare among candidates and make fair decisions.
✓ Reduced bias
Recruitment bias, especially unconscious bias, can negatively impact the quality of your recruitment process. Skill assessment tests minimize recruitment bias by reducing the amount of direct human involvement. While recruiters may hold unconscious prejudices, skill assessment tests evaluate candidates on equal footing.
Additionally, using the same evaluation criteria for all the candidates ensures consistency in judgment throughout the assessment process.
✓ Minimized legal risks
Skill assessment tests ensure that all candidates are tested and evaluated on the same criteria, mitigating the risk of any conscious or unconscious bias. Thus, if an applicant questions the hiring process, companies can clearly justify their methods on legal grounds.
✓ Reduced costs
Skill assessment test platforms like WeCP (We Create Problems) help the hiring managers to optimize their recruitment funnels. This helps reduce both hiring costs and the time to hire. Additionally, they enable saving time on test design, as most technical assessment platforms include rich repositories of diverse assessment questions to choose from.
Moreover, conducting your tech assessment tests virtually reduces the costs associated with conducting on-site tests. Skill assessment tests can reduce your cost-per-hire by as much as 70%.
✓ Reduced time to hire
Conducting your assessment tests using a virtual platform significantly speeds up the hiring process. Multiple candidates can be evaluated with ease at any scale, and automated scoring cuts down the evaluation times dramatically. Thanks to skills assessment tests, recruiters can reduce hiring times by as much as 50-70%.
✓ Reduced employee turnover
Another estimate revealed that skill assessment tests reduce employee turnover rates by 30-70%. This finding is simple enough to understand – qualified candidates do their job easily and don’t feel overwhelmed, so they stick around. Skill assessment tests enable recruiters to choose the right person for the job – thereby minimizing the risk of employee turnover.
Skill assessment tests reduce employee turnover rates by 30-70%.
✓ Reduced training costs and time
Skill assessment tests allow you to pick the candidates with the right skill set. Such tests also enable you to judge the level of training the successful candidate might need to excel at their job. High-scoring candidates require less training from your organization. Thus, skill assessments help reduce employee training costs and time.
✓ Bulk evaluations
Scalable skill assessment platforms like WeCP allow recruiters to evaluate a large pool of candidates simultaneously. The recruitment platform facilitates more than 100,000 tests simultaneously, without fail, guaranteeing that even the largest pools of applicants can be evaluated.
By using a skills assessment test to identify the best talent, recruiters can save time, cut back on costs, and make more informed hiring decisions.
How to design and conduct the perfect skill assessment tests 👼
Assessing candidates based on their skills may seem like a daunting task – but it doesn’t have to be so. The right skill assessment strategy and tools can save your time and money without compromising the quality of the hire.
Here is how recruiters can navigate through the skill assessment process for their company:
➤ Determine who the test is for
When it comes to hiring, recruiters need to have a clear idea of their ideal candidate’s persona. Ask yourself questions like:
- For the role you’re looking to fill, what hard and soft skills should the perfect candidate have?
- What soft skills should your ideal candidate have? Are leadership skills necessary?
- What programming languages should they be fluent in?
- What is the most important hard skill a candidate should have to perform in the given role?
These are just some possible questions to answer when visualizing the ideal persona.
➤ Tailor the questions to the role
While listing the benefits that a skill assessment offers, we highlighted how they are ideal for screening candidates for particular roles. This only holds true if you design the tests properly – the questions should be tailored specifically to the role you’re looking to fill.
Let’s say you’re looking to hire a software developer to code primarily in Python. An assessment test for this role should include questions that specifically test an applicant’s programming capabilities in Python.
➤ Allocate ample time to each question
If candidates don’t have enough time to solve a problem, then despite their capabilities, they may score low on the assessment test. Thus, imposing strict time constraints runs the risk of overlooking talent with strong technical skills.
When designing your technical assessment test, try to give candidates as much time as is reasonable to complete each question.
Recruiters can take after-test feedback on the assessments to ensure that the candidates had enough time to complete the test. In addition, this feedback helps you improve on future hiring strategies.
➤ Conduct the skills assessment test in a cheat-proof setting
While most applicants won’t be inclined to cheat on your tests, there are always a few unfortunate cases. To guarantee fairness to all your applicants, cheat-proofing is essential. Otherwise, you may end up giving preference to ill-suited candidates that acquired higher scores unfairly.
You can help cheat-proof skill assessment tests in different ways. Inviting candidates on-site to sit the exam allows you to monitor them during the test. However, for large pools of applicants especially, proctoring exams on-site is both time-consuming and costly.
So, a more feasible choice is to use a cheat-proof, proctored test platform with in-built proctoring and plagiarism detection technology. Recruitment platforms enable hiring managers to conduct bulk, cheat-proof assessments efficiently.
WeCP (We Create Problems) is a skill assessment platform that uses AI proctoring, plagiarism checks and question shuffling (among other measures) to make assessments cheat-proof. Moreover, recruiters can also monitor test taker activity in real-time from the platform’s central dashboard.
➤ Evaluate and make the offer
After conducting your cheat-proof assessment test, it’s time to evaluate candidates and invite the best ones over for a final interview. If you’re using an all-in-one recruitment solution like WeCP, the platform scores candidates automatically and evaluates them across 12+ performance metrics.
These metrics include the candidate’s focus, accuracy, approach, and prioritization of questions. Performance metrics help recruiters obtain a more complete picture of a candidate’s potential, driving more informed hiring decisions.
Amid a pandemic, the best way to interview a candidate is using an integrated technical video interview tool like WeCP, that has pair-programming and IDE with InteliSense to ensure smooth end-to-end screening.
Schedule a demo today to learn how WeCP can help you find your next rockstar team member.